Metro-East News

After double-digit fatalities in ‘15, ISP aims to make this Labor Day safer

Labor Day parade

The Belleville Labor Day Parade made its way Monday through downtown Belleville.
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The Belleville Labor Day Parade made its way Monday through downtown Belleville.

Police plan to be out in force in an effort to catch drunk drivers and make sure people are wearing their safety belts during the Labor Day weekend, marking the end of summer travel season.

The “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign began on Aug. 22 and concludes on Monday, Illinois State Police said.

During the campaign, ISP said its troopers will show “zero tolerance” for impaired driving and safety belt law violators.

“Traffic is usually heavy during this holiday weekend, causing some drivers to speed in an effort to reach their destinations quicker,” said Lt. Timothy Tyler, the interim commander of State Police District 11, which covers the metro-east. “We will have additional troopers visible on the interstates and state routes in an effort to reduce the number of motorists speeding, as well as the number of traffic crashes in the metro-east.”

Last year on Labor Day weekend, 13 people died in vehicle crashes, the Illinois Department of Transportation said. Three of those fatalities involved a driver who had consumed alcohol.

“A high number of fatal traffic crashes on Illinois roads occur late at night, with an unacceptable amount involving drinking and motorists failing to buckle up, especially during the busy holiday travel periods,” said Priscilla Tobias, director of IDOT's Office of Program Development.

To help traffic move along, however, IDOT said it plans to have lanes reopened, where possible, in areas where road work is taking place. Non-emergency road work is scheduled to be suspended from 3 p.m. Friday through Monday.

Road work is scheduled to resume on Tuesday, IDOT said.

Public transportation on Labor Day

Madison County Transit said service will not be offered during Monday in observance of Labor Day.

MetroBus and MetroLink plan to run on a Sunday schedule on Labor Day.

A sunny weekend

The weekend is expected to be sunny in the St. Louis-area, according to National Weather Service forecasts.

The high on Saturday is projected to be 81 degrees; the high on Sunday will be 85 degrees; and the high on Labor Day is expected to be 88 degrees, the weather service said.

Secretary of State’s offices

Secretary of State’s offices, including local driver services locations, that are normally opened Tuesday through Saturday, are scheduled to be closed on Saturday in observance of Labor Day.

Joseph Bustos: 618-239-2451, @JoeBReporter